If you have never planned a wedding–your own wedding–you might be under the impression that it is all sorting ribbons, choosing between shades of ivory and thread counts, and asking yourself, “matte or gloss?” Words like “bauble,” “chiffon,” “cufflink,” “tier,” and “pearl” might come to mind.
Or maybe you’ve been around someone who planned a wedding, you’ve been a maid of honor or a best man, you know it involves questions like, “Are bubbles allowed at our venue?” or “Do you want to take part in a symbolic ritual of the lifting of a veil?”
“Glass or acrylic?”
Before I started planning this thing, I felt fully equipped. Having planned an Arts Festival for 14,000 guests and 1,200 performers not once but twice, a standard wedding seemed like–wait for it–a piece of cake. I didn’t realize that behind every little question, every this or that, was a whole layer of deeper questioning.
“Will you partake of a first communion?” translates to, “Are you a religious person?” “Will you wear a veil?” becomes “Will you overlook archaic symbols for the sake of tradition or grace?” And if “Will you have burlap or lace?” means “Are you a trendy person?” then “Who will walk you down the aisle?” becomes “Who do you truly consider to be your father?”
A barrage of words that get punted at us, both of us, Ted and I, that we have to twist around into meanings and truths that will represent us in this culminating moment. An alphabet soup that seems to amount to “Where are you from? Who are you? What is most important to you? What defines you? What do you throw up on the wall in this, the last moment of your single life?’
In this last calm, instead of answering, instead of forming words, I decide to keep moving, to exist in this space of frenzied meaning-making, for better or for worse. Next time we talk, I’ll be a Missus!
Wedding Alphabet Soup with Chicken and Swiss Chard
8 cups chicken broth (homemade is tastiest!)
1 head Swiss chard
2 cups (cooked) alphabet noodles, or other small noodles
2 cups shredded chicken (from a roasted or rotisserie chicken is best)
Salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil to taste
1. Prepare noodles according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
2. Rinse chard, remove stalks, and chop roughly.
3. Heat chicken broth, chicken, and chard in a medium pot until gently simmering. Add noodles and return to very low simmer. Serve immediately, with salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice to taste.
Heat each bowl of soup to order, tossing in chicken, chard, and noodles as desired. 🙂
*Roasted Chicken: I got my recipe from The Kitchn’s recipe for naughty beer can chicken. It was perfect!